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58 K. VADNAL ET AL. One of the possible solutions could be provided throughmultifunctional agriculture (Cahill 2001; OECD 2001): social servicesfor people with disabilities (so called agri-care or care farming) couldbe provided by farmers as a supplementary on-farm activity. In thiscase people with disabilities would be in regular contact with the usualsocial environment. They would also be included in the everyday on-farm routine of the farmer’s family, which would provide theopportunity for their individual treatment (Van der Schilden and Vink2000). On the other hand, the positive externalities (Merlo and Briales2000; Terluin 2003) of farming on the well-being of people withdisabilities (Kahn and Juster 2002) become a visible economic valuethrough the farmer’s additional income. Agriculture is included as an indispensable component in the occupationaltherapies for people with special needs, those with mental disabilities in particular(Predny and Relf 2000). However, the role that agriculture and rural communitiescan play in the social reintegration of historically excluded social groups – peoplewith special needs – is often totally neglected when multiple functions of agricultureand rural amenities are discussed (Randall 2002).AimThe inclusion of farmers in therapeutic programmes based on agriculture will makebetter use of the therapeutic potential of agriculture and rural amenities, as well ascontribute to a higher life quality of the disabled. Therefore, the aim of the researchis to assess whether the parents in Slovenia are willing to include their mentallydisabled offspring in the system of social services provided by the farmers assupplementary on-farm activity. METHODOLOGYQualitative research procedureThirty groups of parents – participants of rehabilitation programmes organized byThe Slovenian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (SOŽITJE) –weresurveyed by means of group interviews. The interview was designed as acombination of cognitive and conative approaches (Malholta and Birks 2000??).Two sets of indicators were used: one for parents themselves, another for theirmentally disabled offspring. Indicators related to parents were: geo-demographicand socioeconomic characteristics, satisfaction with the actual employment andoccupational situation of their children and their expectations in this field,experiences with farming (professional or amateur), willingness to place thementally disabled on a farm, cooperation of therapeutic staff and farmers withnecessary skills, anticipated allocation of vouchers. Indicators related to the mentally
SOCIAL SERVICES 59disabled were: degree of mental retardation, actual dwelling and employmentsituation, occupation and training, experiences with farming, suitability of variouslines of agricultural production, effects of farming/gardening on the emotional state,mood and behaviour of the people involved, and advantages and disadvantages ofplacing mentally disabled persons on a farm. After the group interviews, the parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire,which served as the starting point for the individual interviews. If both parents werepresent, they were asked to fill out a single questionnaire. Three of the families hadtwo mentally disabled offspring. In this case, one parent for each offspring filled outa questionnaire for one offspring. Thus, the number of 361 parents in a questionnairerefers to the same number of mentally disabled offspring.Statistical modelsThe logistic regression models were applied to answer two questions: How does a particular characteristic of the parent and/or their mentally disabled offspring influence the degree of the parents’ willingness to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities? Which group of the parents shows the highest degree of willingness to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities? The characteristics, which were included in the models, were derived from thequalitative research. We assumed that, in the case of the parents, age, education andexperience with agriculture would have the crucial influence, while in the case of thementally disabled offspring, age, degree of mental disability and experience withagriculture would be decisive. The studied characteristics were divided into two groups: The characteristic ‘degree of willingness’ is the response variable (Y). It has three values: unwilling (coded as 0), indecisive (coded as 1) and willing (coded as 2). All other characteristics are exploratory variables (X1, X2,…, Xp). The degree of willingness of the parents and the degree of mental disability ofthe offspring were regarded as the key characteristics. The qualitative phase of theresearch revealed that the data on the key characteristics were missing for 90respondents. These respondents were excluded from the statistical analysis that wascarried out in relation to 271 respondents. The association of a particular exploratory variable with the response variable(univariate models), as well as the simultaneous association of several exploratoryvariables with the response variable (multivariate models), was in the centre of ourattention. We used the nominal logistic regression (Hosmer and Lemeshow 1989) toanalyse our data. This method is a simple generalization of the standard logisticregression, which is defined by the function logit in case the responsive variable Yhas two values (denoted by 0 and 1): P (Y 1) logit P (Y 1 | 0) ln (1) P (Y 0)
60 K. VADNAL ET AL. In our case the response variable Y has three values (denoted by 0, 1 and 2); twomore logit functions can be defined: P (Y 2) logit P (Y 2 | 0) ln ; (2) P (Y 0) P (Y 2) logit P (Y 2 | 1) ln logit P (Y 2 | 0) logit P (Y 1 | 0) (3) P (Y 1) The latter equation clearly demonstrates that the third logit is the differencebetween the first and the second one. In the case of the first and the second logit,value 0 refers to the reference group; in the case of the third logit, the referencegroup is 1. The multivariate logistic model includes p exploratory variables and is ageneralization of the univariate logistic model defined by two logit functions: P (Y 1| X ) g1 ( X ) ln 10 11 X 1 ... 1p X p (4) P (Y 0| X)and P (Y 2| X) g2 ( X ) ln 20 21 X 1 ... 2pX p (5) P (Y 0| X) RESULTSDescriptive analysis of the parents’ view on including their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activitiesAs there is no care farming in Slovenia, the idea of incorporating farms and farmersinto the system of protection and training of persons with mental disability was quitenew to the respondents – parents or guardians of those persons. The majority of 361interviewed parents, 67%, opted for suggested answers: 54% were willing to includetheir mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities (19%unconditionally, 35% under certain conditions), while 13% were against it (5% of allrespondents expressed their strong opposition). Table1. Willingness of the parents of mentally disabled offspring to include him/her into everyday on-farm activity, % (N=361) Degree of mental disabilityWillingness All mild moderate severe profound unknownWilling 2.8 10.8 1.9 1.7 1.7 18.8Willing conditionally 3.3 20.5 7.8 2.2 0.8 34.6Unwilling - 3.0 2.5 1.1 0.8 7.5Unwilling under any condition 0.8 1.7 1.7 0.6 0.6 5.3
SOCIAL SERVICES 61Indecisive 2.2 10.0 1.4 0.6 1.1 15.2Already living on a farm 0.8 2.2 1.7 2.2 0.6 7.5Unknown 0.6 3.0 1.1 1.7 4.7 11.1All 10.5 51.2 18.0 10.0 10.2 100 The parents consider employment of their mentally disabled offspring as acrucial factor contributing to the quality of his/her life. Due to the poor opportunitiesto find a proper job or activities for their adult mentally disabled offspring, one thirdof the parents see the periodical leisure activities as the most suitable way to includetheir offspring in everyday on-farm activity. Table 2. Forms of on-farm activities preferred by the parents of the mentally disabled, % (N=361) Degree of mental disability All mild moderate severe profound unknownProtected employment 42.1 37.3 30.8 33.3 8.1 33.2Periodical leisure 23.7 23.2 21.5 16.7 8.1 20.8activitiesDaily care 7.9 18.4 12.3 8.3 10.8 14.4Dwelling community 18.4 14.1 4.6 2.8 10.8 11.4Other 7.9 7.0 0 5.6 0 5.0Indecisive 0 0 30.8 33.3 62.2 15.2Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 The farmer to whom the parents would entrust their mentally disabled offspring,has to be trained adequately and must have personal experience with mentallydisabled. Yet, first of all, he/she has to be ‘a good sort of a person’. The parentsexpect the farmer to respect and to understand the mentally disabled, as well as tobear with them. As the parents have no practical experience with care farming, theywould like to have professional attendance on a farm for their mentally disabledoffspring. The agricultural lines of production that the parents assessed as the mostadequate ones for their mentally disabled offspring, corresponded with the lines theyalready had had experience with: vegetable and ornamental-flower production,followed by fruit and herb production. More than half of the interviewed parentsthought that involvement with plant production has a favourable impact on the well-being of the mentally disabled. Being in the open air, an increase in self-dependenceand self-confidence, as well as gaining experience and the acquisition of skills werethe positive effects most often quoted by the parents. Even when the frequency ofcontacts with animals was lower, the experiences with regard to the impact on theemotional state, behaviour and mood were the same. These impacts were describedas soothing, stimulating, enlivening and strengthening one’s self-confidence.
62 K. VADNAL ET AL. Table 3. The parents’ evaluation of the suitability of agricultural lines of production for thementally disabled, and the experiences of the parents and the mentally disabled offspring with agriculture Parents according to their Practice of the parents and the assessment of the suitability of the mentally disabled offspring in the production lines for the mentally production lines, % (N=361) disabled, % (N=361)Production lines suitable unsuitable parents mentally disabled offspringVegetable 32.1 5.5 63.7 25.2Ornamental flower 25.2 4.7 63.7 15.5Poultry 16.3 7.4 13.3 8.3Small breeding 14.9 9.7 8.0 8.3Crop 14.6 12.4 26.6 11.9Herbal plants 13.3 7.2 5.8 1.4Fruit 13.0 13.1 20.2 8.3Cottage industry 12.8 7.4 1.4 1.1Horse breeding 12.2 12.5 4.2 3.9Cattle breeding 11.1 13.3 17.5 10.0Vine growing 9.1 10.5 16.1 8.3Home food 7.4 5.5 16.6 8.6processingPig breeding 7.0 13.0 12.7 6.9 Out of 13 different sources of risk, the parents perceived two groups as the mostthreatening: those that originated from farming itself (injuries caused by agriculturalmachinery and tools, poisoning with agricultural chemicals, injuries caused byanimals) and those that originated from farmers’ behaviour (verbal abuse, physicalabuse, slave labour). Although the parents were aware of all the relevant risks offarming, the fear of mistreatment predominated. They believed the appropriatepersonal attitude of the farmers towards the mentally disabled to be the mostimportant characteristic. Respect, understanding and patience were the mostfrequently mentioned attributes. Positive experiences with mentally disabled personswere more important for the parents than the experience in farming and farmingskills. Farmers should receive special training for working with the mentallydisabled. The training should be organized by SOŽITJE (55%), and centres forprotection and training (57%), i.e., organizations and institutions they are familiarwith.Analysis of the willingness of the parents to include their mentally disabled offspringin everyday on-farm activities
SOCIAL SERVICES 63Impact of the ageThe parents provided the data on the age for 255 mentally disabled offspring: theyoungest one was 3 years old, the oldest was 63. The data on the age of the parentswere obtained for 250 mothers of the above mentioned 255 mentally disabledoffspring. The youngest mother was 23 years old, and the oldest was 89. Theaverage age of the mother was 50.9 years, with a standard deviation of 14.4 years. Figure 1 shows that for younger mothers with younger mentally disabledoffspring willingness (yes) or indecision (there is no significant difference betweenthese two categories) is detected more often, while older ones expressed theirunwillingness (no) in a higher degree. As a strong correlation (r = 0.838, p = 0.000)between the age of the mother and the offspring can be detected, the latter will bestudied further on. The calculation, which supplements the figure, shows that thefirst quartile for the age of the mentally disabled offspring is 13 years, the secondone (median) 24 years and the third one 34 years. 90 80 Age of the mother 70 60 50 40 30 20 N= 36 48 166 No Undecided Yes Willingness 70 99 60 Age of the offspring 50 40 30 20 10 0 N= 33 48 174 No Undecided Yes Willingness
64 K. VADNAL ET AL. Figure 1. Age of the mother (above) and age of the mentally disabled offspring (below) according to the willingness of the parents to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities The impact of the age was evaluated by the nominal logistic regression. The ageof the mentally disabled offspring was divided into two groups: younger (up to 24years of age) and older (25 years of age and more): The older were taken as thereference group. The comparison of the parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activity with those who are not shows that the age ofthe offspring is highly statistically significant (p = 0.001). A younger person has 4.9times higher odds to be sent on a farm (95 % CI is 2.0 – 11.9) than an older one. Thecomparison of the parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activities with those who are indecisive pointed out astatistically insignificant impact of the age (p = 0.859). The comparison of theparents who are not willing to include their mentally disabled offspring in everydayon-farm activities with those who are indecisive presents almost identical results:exp(1.590+0.006) = 5.200, the corresponding 95% confidence interval is 1.9 – 14.3. Table 4. Results of the nominal logistic regression: impact of the age of a mentally disabled person on the parents’ willingness to include him/her into everyday on-farm activities b se(b) Wald DF p exp(b) 95% CI Willingness: Yes/No Age group up to 24 years 1.000 25 years and more 1.590 0.452 12.344 1 0.001 4.903 2.020 11.902 Willingness: Yes/Indecisive Age group up to 24 years 1.000 25 years and more -0.006 0.330 0.032 1 0.859 0.943 0.493 1.802 Willingness: Indecisive/No Age group up to 24 years 1.000 25 years and more 1.649 0.517 10.179 1 0.001 5.200 1.889 14.317Impact of the education of the parentsThe data on the education of the parents refer to the parent, who filled out thequestionnaire. The data on 14 parents (5.2 %) are missing. The level of education ispresented in three categories: elementary school or less (82 respondents or 31.9 %),secondary school (130 respondents or 50.6 %), higher education (45 respondents or17.5 %). Figure 2 shows the education of the parents according to their willingness. Thegraph and the 2 statistics confirm the impact of education on the willingness ( 2 =20.220; p = 0.000); a higher degree of willingness is characteristic of parents with ahigher level of education.
SOCIAL SERVICES 65 100% 80% higher 60% secondary elementary and 40% less 20% 0% No Indecisive Yes Willingness Figure 2. Education of the parents according to the willingness to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities The results of the logistic regression are presented in Table 5. The category‘basic’ corresponds to the elementary school and less, and is defined as the referencegroup. Two other groups were merged into the category ‘more than basic’ and thencompared with the group ‘basic’. The comparison of the parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activity with those who are not shows that theoffspring whose parents have more than basic education have 3.7 times higher odds(95 % CI 1.8 - 7.6) to be sent to a farm than those whose parents have only basiceducation. The comparison of unwilling and indecisive parents gives similar results.The comparison of the parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activity with those who are indecisive does not showany significant differences.
66 K. VADNAL ET AL. Table 5. Results of the nominal logistic regression: association of parents’ education with their willingness to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities b se(b) Wald SP p exp(b) 95% CI Willingness: Yes/No Education of the parents: basic 1.000 more than basic 1.297 0.370 12.251 1 0.010 3.657 1.769 7.559 Willingness: Yes/Indecisive Education of the parents: basic 1.000 more than basic 0.017 0.368 0.002 1 0.964 1.017 0.494 2.093 Willingness: Indecisive/No Education of the parents: basic 1.000 more than basic 1.280 0.463 7.644 1 0.006 3.596 1.451 8.910Impact of the degree of mental disabilityThe degree of mental disability is one of the key characteristics that were studied.Thirty-three parents (12.2%) reported a mild degree of mental disability of theoffspring, 164 (60.5%) reported a moderate degree, 54 (19.9%) reported a severedegree, and 20 (7.4%) reported a profound degree of mental disability of theiroffspring. During the analysis of the influence of the degree of disability, it becameobvious that the number of the respondents in a particular cell of the table was verylow. Therefore, the initial four categories of the degree of mental disability weremerged into two: lower degree of disability (mild and moderate) and higher degreeof disability (severe and profound). 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% lower degree higher degree 0% No Indecisive Yes Willingness Figure 3. Degree of mental disability of the offspring according to the willingness of the parents to include him/her in everyday on-farm activities
SOCIAL SERVICES 67 The graphical presentation of the structure of the willingness according to thedegree of mental disability is given in Figure 3. Approximately one half of theparents of the persons with a higher degree of mental disability expressedunwillingness, while only 26% (47 out of 182) of them expressed willingness. Yet,the proportion of offspring with a higher degree of disability is higher in the groupof willing parents in comparison with the group of indecisive parents. The influenceof the degree of mental retardation on the willingness of the parents to include theirmentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities is tested by 2 statistics( 2 = 15.955; p = 0.000). Table 6. Results of the nominal logistic regression: the association of the degree of mental disability of the offspring with parents’ willingness to include him/her in everyday on-farm activities b se(b) Wald SP p exp(b) 95% CI Willingness: Yes/No Degree of disability: higher 1.000 lower 1.106 0.362 9.322 1 0.002 3.024 1.486 6.151 Willingness: Yes/Indecisive Degree of disability: higher 1.000 lower -0.760 0.441 2.966 1 0.085 0.468 0.197 1.111 Willingness: Indecisive/No Degree of disability: higher 1.000 lower 1.867 0.518 12.964 1 0.000 6.466 2.341 17.861 The comparison of the parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activity with those who are not shows that theinfluence of the degree of disability of the offspring is highly statistically significant(p = 0.002): the offspring with a lower degree of disability have 3.0 times higherodds to be sent on a farm (95% CI is 1.4 –6.2) than those with a higher degree ofmental disability. The comparison of the parents who are willing to include theirmentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activity with those who areindecisive showed a marginal statistical significance of the influence of the degreeof mental disability (p = 0.085). The corresponding ratio of the odds isapproximately 0.47 (it means below 1). This means that the offspring with a higherdegree of disability have 2.1 times (95% CI is 0.9 –5.1) more odds for their parentsbeing indecisive than in favour of sending them to a farm. The interval is 1.9 – 14.3.Impact of the practice in agricultureOnly 20 parents (7.4%) reported that they have no practice in agriculture, while allthe rest (249 or 92.6%) have personal practice in agriculture. Yet, only one third (82or 30.9%) of their offspring have personal practice in agriculture (includinggardening), while 183 (69.1%) have none.
68 K. VADNAL ET AL. The bivariate analysis shows that the parents’ practice in agriculture has nostatistically significant influence on their willingness to include their mentallydisabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities ( 2 = 3.171; p = 0.205). In the caseof mentally disabled offspring and their practice in agriculture the analysis shows astatistically significant influence on the willingness of their parents to send them to afarm ( 2 = 12.721; p = 0.002). The more the offspring have practice in agriculturethe more the parents are willing to send her or him to a farm: the relation is linear. 100% 80% 60% Yes 40% No 20% 0% No Indecisive Yes Willingness 100% 80% 60% Yes 40% No 20% 0% No Indecisive Yes Willingness Figure 4. Practice in agriculture (above: parents, below: offspring) according to the willingness of the parents to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activities The results of the nominal logistic regression are presented in Table 7. Theyrelate only to the mentally disabled offspring and the experience they have withagriculture. The reference group is the group ‘without practice’. The analysis of thevalue b shows a linear trend in the logit function: value 0.6 in the comparisonwilling/indecisive, as well as when comparing indecisive/unwilling, and 1.2 whencomparing willing/unwilling.
SOCIAL SERVICES 69 Table 7. Results of the nominal logistic regression: the association of the experience withagriculture of the mentally disabled offspring with the parents’ willingness to include him/her in everyday on-farm activities b se(b) Wald SP p exp(b) 95% CI Willingness: Yes/No Practice in agriculture: without practice 1.000 with practice 1.226 0.368 11.085 1 0.001 3.409 1.656 7.018 Willingness: Yes/Indecisive Practice in agriculture: without practice 1.000 with practice 0.610 0.345 3.129 1 0.077 1.841 0.936 3.620 Willingness: Indecisive/No Practice in agriculture: without practice 1.000 with practice 0.616 0.441 1.953 1 0.162 1.852 0.780 4.395 The impact of the practice in agriculture is highly statistically significant in thecase of comparison willing/unwilling (p = 0.001): the mentally disabled who havesome practice in agriculture have 3.4 times higher odds for being sent to a farm incomparison with those who have no such practice (95% confidence interval is 1.6 –7.0). The comparison of those who are willing with the indecisive parents shows amarginal statistical significance (p = 0.08), the ratio of odds is 1.8 (95% confidenceinterval is 0.9 – 3.6).The multivariate analysis of the willingness of the parents to include their mentallydisabled offspring in everyday on-farm activitiesIn order to determine the difference between the parents who are willing to includetheir mentally disabled offspring in the everyday on-farm activities and those whoare not, the following variables were incorporated into the model: age of thementally disabled offspring (up to 24 years, 25 years and more), education of theparents (basic, more than basic), degree of mental disability (lower, higher),experience of the mentally disabled offspring with agriculture (with experience,without experience). The results of the nominal logistic regression are presented inTable 8. The estimations of the parameters in the multivariate model are slightlydifferent from those in the corresponding univarate models due to the associationbetween several explicative variables. The comparison of the parents who arewilling to include their mentally disabled offspring in everyday on-farm activitieswith those who are not revealed that the age of the offspring has the strongest impact(p = 0.006), followed by the impact of having experience with agriculture(p = 0.043). The impacts of the degree of mental disability of the offspring and theeducation of the parents have a marginal statistical significance (p = 0.08 and 0.09,respectively). The parents who are willing to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activities differ from those who are indecisive in
70 K. VADNAL ET AL.having experience with agriculture. This has a significant statistical impact(p = 0.023). In this case a marginal statistical significance of the degree of mentaldisability (p = 0.088) is detected. Table 8. Results of the nominal logistic regression: multivariate model b se(b) Wald DF p exp(b) 95 % CI Willingness:Yes/No Age group older 1.000 younger 1.323 0.481 7.555 1 0.006 3.755 1.462 9.648 Education basic 1.000 more than basic 0.763 0.435 3.075 1 0.080 2.145 0.914 5.034 Degree of disability higher 1.000 lower 0.729 0.429 2.884 1 0.089 2.073 0.894 4.810 Practice no 1.000 yes 0.869 0.430 4.091 1 0.043 2.386 1.027 5.540 Willingness:Yes/ Indecisive Age group older 1.000 younger -0.111 0.363 0.093 1 0.760 0.895 0.440 1.822 Education basic 1.000 more than basic 0.215 0.396 0.294 1 0.588 1.240 0.570 2.695 Degree of disability higher 1.000 lower -0.798 0.467 2.915 1 0.088 0.450 0.180 1.125 Practice no 1.000 yes 0.856 0.376 5.183 1 0.023 2.354 1.126 4.419 DISCUSSIONAs there is no care farming in Slovenia, the idea of incorporating farms and farmersinto the system of protection and training of the mentally disabled was quite new.Through the interviews the parents began to recollect their own experiences and theexperiences gained by their mentally disabled children through different contactswith the rural environment. Activities that are offered by the existing institutions arefew and monotonous; therefore the variety of activities that could be offered byfarms attracted their attention. As their contacts with plant production have beenmore frequent than those with animal breeding, the potential of the latter is beingunderestimated. The parents do not exaggerate in their concern for the wellbeing oftheir offspring on a farm. Careful selection of farms and specific training of farmerscould further diminish the potential threats. The parents would trust most the farmerwho is ‘one of us’, i.e., the farmer with a mentally disabled offspring. It is obvious
SOCIAL SERVICES 71that the parents want to see how this novelty will work; therefore, they preferperiodic on-farm activities to permanent employment. The parents see care farmingas an attractive new opportunity for their mentally disabled offspring. They have agood idea of the performance of care farming that would gain their confidence andmeet the needs of their offspring The information provided by the parents of the mentally disabled can help us todefine proper guidelines for the development of the system of care farming inSlovenia for this segment of the users. The most suitable initial providers of servicesare farmers with first-hand experiences with the mentally disabled (family members,foster children). The second group are farmers who live near the existing institutionsand already have some business and/or social contacts with mentally disabledpersons (selling products, family members being employed in the institution, etc.).The supply of services should start with periodic activities (horse riding, fruitpicking, making hay), gradually expanding to regular full-time protection andtraining. Farmers should have an easy access to special training programmes, whichshould be individualized and carried out on the farm. CONCLUSIONThe analysis of the willingness of the parents to include their mentally disabledoffspring in everyday on-farm activities shows that the most probable users ofservices provided by care farming are young persons with a lower degree of mentaldisability who have well-educated parents, and who already have some practice inagriculture. Therefore it is crucial to ‘green up’ the existing programmes ofeducation and training of the mentally disabled in order to provide the room foracquiring experiences and for having them evaluated by the mentally disabledthemselves. They have to be provided with the opportunity to make choices, whetherthey are consistent with the parents’ ideas or not. The discussions with the parents on the studied issues revealed the real truthabout the wellbeing of mentally disabled persons. They are trapped in the system oflarge and dominant institutions having only one option: institution or nothing. “Weare not aware that things can be organized in any other way” is the commoncomment. It only proves that in the case of the privatization of social services(Nacionalni program socialnega varstva do leta 2005 (NPSV). Uradni list RepublikeSlovenije: 31/2000 2000) the coalition of providers and users can easily bedeformed into a coalition of politicians and professional providers, with no influencefrom the users (Rus 1999). In this case there is no room for the choices made bypersons with mental disabilities, nor for those made by farmers as providers of socialservices. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe Ministry of the Republic of Slovenia for Education, Sport and Science, theAssociation of Societies for Helping Mentally Disabled (SOŽITJE), Slovenia, andthe Agriculture - Forestry Chamber of Slovenia sponsor research on social services
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